Wizkid talks about the success of “Essence” and winning Apple Music Artist of the Year (Africa)

In his interview with Apple Music, the Grammy-winning singer Assistant looks back on the last 12 months, talks about the huge success of his album, “Made in Lagosexplains how his life has changed since his debut in 2011 and reveals his plans for 2022.

According to Apple Music:

Singer-songwriter Wizkid is one of Africa’s foremost crossover artists, having worked with Drake, Skepta and Chris Brownamong others.

The Nigerian musician first achieved regional success in 2011 with the massively popular single “Holla at your boywhich was featured on his debut album, “Super star.” Wizkid went global in 2016 after collaborating with Drake on “A dancewhich topped the charts in 15 countries.

Between 2019 and 2020, Wizkid featured in Beyoncethe projects ofThe Lion King: The Gift» and its counterpart, «black is king.”

In October 2020, he released “Made in Lagos”, his critically acclaimed and most commercially successful album, which included his hit song “Gasolinea track that has earned 125 million plays on Apple Music and more than 2.8 million Shazams.

Last year, he was the most streamed African artist on the continent on Apple Music and ranked in the daily top 100 charts in 60 countries, in addition to his monthly Apple Music streams which increased by more than 250 % outside of Africa. It has also been featured on Apple Music playlists”Today’s Hits” and “R&B now“, and he’s a frequent guest on Apple Music Radio shows, including “Africa Now Radio,” “The spectacle of the Ebro,” “New music daily with Zane Lowe,” and “OVO SOUND RADIO.”

“Thank you Apple Music for this award. It’s a blessing to be able to do what I do, and I’m proud to represent Africa,” Wizkid says of Apple Music’s Artist of the Year award ( Africa), the success of “Essence”, “Made In Lagos” and more. Read the excerpts below:

Wizkid on manifesting the success of “Made In Lagos”:

I felt it coming. I would say I’m lying if I didn’t feel it coming because it took me three years to work on this album. So I felt like there was going to be a change, but I didn’t know how it would happen. Because I knew it was a bit different…it wasn’t a different sound, but it was a more mature sound than what I was doing before.
Ever since I was really young, man. I called my first album “Superstar”. How confident can you be? So here is. I was born to do this shit, man.

Wizkid on his life changed since “Don’t Dull”:

I am really different. I have more children now. We are at three right now. I love my boys, man. They are a great blessing to my life. They changed me, they made me a better person. It was actually the biggest change in my life because when I did “Don’t Dull” I didn’t have kids. I was running around like a wild boy. And at 21, I had my first child and I was just getting started. So I’m very grateful for my kids because they put my head back in place.

You have to keep moving through life and keep taking each day as it comes. I don’t really think of much, to be honest. I just woke up and I’m just going with the flow. Like… Yo yeah, we got that. Thank God. This is how I am with life.

Even with the way I make music, because when I released that album, I remember having a conversation with P2J. We did the album, 90% of the album together. And he was like, “Oh bro, I’m not really sure. I am stressed. I don’t really know if people are going to like the sound. I’m like, “Are you okay?! This is good music. They’re gonna fucking like it. You don’t even have to think about it.

So after putting that out and seeing okay, yeah, people really like good music. So it helps you get better and better at what you do. So here is. I feel the change and the difference everyday, man.

Wizkid on creating “Essence”:

What’s crazy is that the night we did “Essence”, I did “Gyrate” the same night. So sometimes, in one night, I would do two firecrackers, three firecrackers. I wake up and I go there. I treat this shit like school. I wake up in the morning. I’m like, yeah, I did well yesterday. Let’s go. What are we doing today? You know what I mean?

Shit yeah, man. I knew it [“Essence”] was a success. The night we did it, I tweeted something. My fans reminded me of it after the album was released.
Because I tweeted “Tems and I made magic”. That’s what I tweeted. I knew it was magic, man. I’ve been doing this shit for 10 years. Go on. You think I won’t know if we make it?

It feels good. It’s really, really great. When you have a record like that, it feels good, man. But the most important thing is that when we did it, we weren’t thinking about commercial success or anything like that. We were just trying to make good music. So I think maybe that’s why people really like this record like that, because it just comes from the soul. Just natural, organic shit.

Wizkid on opening doors with the hit “Essence”:

I don’t see it like that. I don’t think I’m the first to go through this. I don’t know what I did, but it just opened the door. I feel like everyone is on their way out now. There will soon be plenty of records from Africa. It feels good because the truth is people are tired of listening to the same shit. They want real shit.

And during the pandemic, that kind of helped because we’re all home. So that helped everyone find, well for me, basically, I would speak for myself. It made me realize what kind of music I really like to listen to more. So I feel like it just helped everyone get in touch with, oh, yeah, man. I want to listen to good music, what feels good?

So when that record fell, what it did for me is what it did for people. It made me feel better every time I listened to the song. So it’s just a great record, man. Excellent file. And I love Tems to death. She has a special, special talent. She’s like my top three.

Watch the interview here: